The city of Los Angeles is the magnificent vista in this Hollywood Hills house. While the windows wrap the whole living room, this is understandable. The rest of the house is also a mix of punched openings and other full-height glazing. In each case the choice is appropriate to the view and varying levels of privacy. Here the low ceiling of the living room reinforces the horizon and the expanse of LA.
The bedroom in this house in Big Sur, California also understandably opens up a large window to the Pacific Ocean vista. The incorporation of built-in seating into this bay window is an extra nice touch, making this THE place to be in the house.
Another large opening can be found in the living room of a Larkin Street residence in San Francisco. The window/glass wall slides open to connect the room to the large terrace. The best lesson here is that when a view is being framed by a terrace or balcony, it's best to use a glass guardrail. Then people sitting down, inside or outside, can still take in the view.
In another part of the Larkin Street residence, a room provides two views. The one on the left parallels the living room. But the one on the right looks towards the harbor, instead of the bridge. This small opening allows the person sitting at the built-in desk to be distracted by the water and boats.
This cabin in north-central Washington state is composed of predominantly solid side walls, helping to insulate the interior from the cold and winds. Yet that horizontal window is intriguing ...
...The window sits next to the dining room table, at just the right height for people sitting down for a meal. Its size takes the sky out of the picture, but it beautifully frames the grass and landscape around the cabin.
Another horizontal window can be found in a cabin near Seattle, designed by the same architects as the previous one. This narrow slot is found in a bedroom, again at a height that works with the furniture.
Of course, horizontal windows aren't the only ways to capture views of the surroundings. This house in Sonoma County, California takes advantage of the dramatic valley scenery with a pool and terrace. Inside every opportunity is taken to bring that scenery inside, even in this hallway. The window seat and view make a trip upstairs a slow and leisurely one.
San Francisco's landmark Coit Tower is perfectly framed in this small window. A larger opening would certainly provide a larger vista, but the tower would be lost amongst the rest of the city. Here it is front and center, as if the window exists just to let it be seen.
The last four photographs in this ideabook use this residence in the old village of Sugar Bowl (in eastern California near Reno, Nevada) as an example of multiple ways of framing views found in one design. The two floors are split between a top with floor-to-ceiling glass and a lower level with strategically placed punched openings.
The kitchen/dining area recalls the cabin presented earlier, yet here the design takes advantage of the corner location. A square window (left) frames the trees, while the horizontal window (right) looks into the distance at the snow drift and a small building.
This square-ish window is like wallpaper with trees and snow. Of course, this sort of thing — clear glass next to a bathtub — can't be done everywhere, but in Sugar Bowl it makes for a beautiful soak.